Our One-Bag Packing Tips for Ladies:
Invest in travel-sized bottles and containers:
We like our makeup and cosmetics and spend a lot of money on them. So we would never risk having them confiscated by a TSA agent who wouldn't understand the importance of SPF 45 in our tinted moisturizer. As long as you buy those little travel bottles, all your cosmetics should fit in one one-quart-sized plastic baggie which you're more than welcome to take on the plane.
Wear your boots on the plane:
Most people advise against boots when you go through security because it takes too long to get them off and back on. But wearing them gives you more room in your suitcase and really, can you travel without your hot cowboy boots? We can't.
Ditto for your denim. One Bag says denim is too bulky to pack, but if you make it part of your plane outfit, it's just fine. (Also, who goes anywhere without at least some denim?)
Workout gear can double as sleepwear:
So long as you aren't sweating buckets each day working out, you can at least use your tank top or t-shirt for sleeping. We like to air ours out in the bathroom for good measure.
Don't ignore black leggings: If you hate black leggings as a fashion trend, you might want to consider getting over it. Leggings are major space savers. They are also easy to wash in a bathroom sink, act as great layers for when it's unexpectedly cold and look fashionable when tucked into your boots.
Camisoles, camisoles, camisoles:
Ditch the tankini top and bring along a few camisoles. These work great under suits and with jeans. And some have built-in bras, allowing you to cut down on those as well.
Pare down on accessories:
Regardless of where we're headed, we usually only carry one nice pair of earrings, one nice necklace and one set of thin bangles. Besides, you might find some cute jewelry at your destination. Ditto on magazines and books. Take one each if you must.
Bring on the shoes:
We are shoe fiends so asking us to travel with one pair of ugly shoes is like asking us to abstain from anything that gives us pleasure in life. That said, it's impossible to bring all the shoes we'd like. So we usually take our boots (worn on the plane), a pair of cute flats that are comfortable and dressy (they do exist), one pair of high heels that will match any of our dressy outfits and running shoes that can double as kick-around sneaks.
Pack half of what you need:
Our last tried and true tip comes from an old college professor who was in charge of our mini-semester in Italy. Pack whatever your heart desires. Then close the suitcase. An hour later, open it up and take out exactly half. It's sometimes painful deciding which cute frocks and pretty shoes won't make the cut, but when we can zip off the plane and avoid checked baggage fees, it's all worth it.